You’ve had a long, grueling day at the office and you come home and realize that Wine O’Clock is fast approaching. You wonder what wine you will open. You know you don’t want another boring two dimensional Chardonnay or Cabernet. You know you are craving complexity and fun. You want wines that will rock your palate and senses but don’t know where to turn for those wines. Good thing I have the answer for you; Stepping Stone By Cornerstone Rocks!
Most of you are already familiar with the classic and elegant wines produced by Cornerstone Cellars, both in the Napa Valley and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Their Stepping Stone brand consists of quality wines made for everyday drinking. Now, take that a step further and you have Cornerstone’s newest brand, Stepping Stone Rocks! The Rocks! wines are inspired by the blends of Southern France and no two vintages are alike. Although the composition of the blends are unpublished, you will find diversity and complexity in all of the Rocks! wines. Although I know the grape varieties that make up the wines, I challenge you to see if you can figure it out. These wines are fun and are a pleasure for your palate. These are extraordinary wines that you come to expect from Cornerstone and winemaker, Jeff Keene. Every year, a white wine and a red wine is produced for the Rocks! brand.
The 2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone White Rocks! pours a light straw color in the glass and as the wine opens up in the glass, a bouquet of flowers, stone fruit, Granny Smith apple, luscious tropical fruits, melon, and honeysuckle emerges. On the palate, you get layers of juicy white peaches, pears, honeydew melon, guava, and ruby grapefruit followed by a hint of spice with crisp, clean acidity. The flavors and acidity in the wine are in perfect harmony. This wine is refreshing and has a delectable mouthfeel to it. This wine is so very easy to love. It’s one of those wines you want to enjoy sitting out in the backyard on a warm summer evening, or any time! This wine drinks beautifully on its own but would pair fantastically with an array of cheeses or light summer salads or seafood dishes. This wine sells for $18 per bottle. Only 1,087 cases were produced, so get your hands on several bottles for your summer quaffing pleasure. A highly, highly recommended wine.
Now, on to the red wine. The 2011 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Red Rocks! is composed of three varietals. One of my absolute favorite red wine varietals on the planet is included in this blend and for those who know me well, you will know what I am talking about. The wine was aged for five months in a stainless steal tank. This wine pours a gorgeous deep garnet color in the glass. As you start swirling the wine in the glass the fruit aromas emerge, first come the black fruits such as blackberry, and dark plum. Then comes a layer of blueberry and raspberry, followed by floral notes. As the wine sits in the glasses longer, aromas of cherry cola open up as well as hints of fresh cracked pepper and baking spices. On the palate, there are supple blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. There is another layer on the palate of the cherry cola and hints of expresso and baker’s chocolate. The wine finishes long with a hint of pepper and baking spice. The three varietals that make up this wine give it incredible complexity and depth, but with beautiful balance. This wine is rich and luxurious and will stand up perfectly with many things such as grilled meats off the BBQ or even a meat pizza which is what I paired it with. This is an absolutely fantastic wine that will make your palate very happy and leave you wanting for more. Can you believe that this wine only sells for $18 per bottle? This is definitely a wine you will want to have on hand for any occasion but especially now for your summer BBQs. Only 941 cases were produced, so be sure to get your hands on some. This wine is also highly, highly recommended.
There you have it; two fantastically fun, and wonderfully complex wines to add to your cellar for your wine-drinking pleasure.
With each vintage of the Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Rocks! wines, Cornerstone takes what the vintage hands them and makes the most delicious and interesting wines without worrying about adhering to certain tasting profiles. As always the blends will remain a secret but you can rest assured you are getting a finely crafted, fantastic wine with the Cornerstone name on it.
Cornerstone Cellars has an incredible presence in the social media world. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. They also have created, recently, a new Twitter profile for this Stepping Stone By Cornerstone Rocks! series. It can be found here. Craig Camp and his team will always keep you up to date on new releases and winery news and events. If you are ever in the Napa Valley, be sure to pay them a visit at their Yountville tasting room. Until the next time friends.
*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.